- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter1 day ago
When Paige VanZant entered the "Dancing With The Stars" competition, the 22-year-old wasn’t sure that her ability on the dance floor would match her skill as a mixed martial artist.
But as the show entered its finale, VanZant not only proved that she was a competent dancer, she ended up posting a near-perfect score in her final routine that brought two of the judges and her dance partner to tears and ended up securing a second-place finish in season 22 of the dance competition.
VanZant and her partner Mark Ballas performed the salsa and a freestyle dance that captivated the judges. The salsa performance, which was the duo’s pick during the “redemption” stage when Ballas had to be replaced due to injury, scored 29 out of 30 points. But that was only a precursor of what was to come.
For their second dance, VanZant and Ballas performed a freestyle that drew a perfect 30 out of 30. But, perhaps of more significance, the performance had an emotional effect on the judges. Two judges and Ballas, himself, were brought to tears by VanZant’s performance.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter6 days ago
The only question on everyone’s mind after Cris “Cyborg” Justino made her UFC debut a successful one with a first round knockout of Leslie Smith at UFC 198 was what would be next for the hard-hitting Brazilian.
Currently, there is no weight class in the UFC for the Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion to compete in, which is why Cyborg’s fight with Smith was at a catchweight of 140 pounds. Depending on whom you ask, Cyborg could either find herself defending the Invicta featherweight title or back in the Octagon for her next fight.
“UFC Tonight” reported that there were plans in place for Cyborg to return to the UFC as early as UFC 201 on July 30 in Atlanta. It would be another 140-pound catchweight fight and her opponent would be Germaine de Randamie, a Dutch kickboxer who scored a scintillating first round TKO victory over Anna Elmose at UFC Fight Night 87.
But Cyborg balked at the reports and fired back with her desire to return to Invicta for her next fight via Twitter.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter7 days ago
The buzz surrounding a potential boxing match between retired pound-for-pound boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor hasn’t quite died down yet. After Mayweather poured gasoline on the fire by talking up the fight, McGregor is now fanning the flames as a video has surfaced of the Irishman sparring with former IBO welterweight champion Chris van Heerden.
After posting a picture of Reebok boxing boots earlier in the week, footage of McGregor sparring in headgear at the Box ‘N Burn gym in Brentwood, Calif., has hit the Internet and added to the speculation.
In the two-and-a-half minute video, McGregor is seen stalking van Heerden while eating several jabs from his opponent whenever he draws near. He also struggles to land anything of significance while being unable to cut off the ring.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter7 days ago
Michael Bisping is tied with Hall of Famer Matt Hughes for the second-most victories in UFC history with 18, only one behind ex-welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. If Bisping ties the mark in his next outing, he'll become a champion himself.
Bisping will step in to replace Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 199 on June 4 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., challenging champion Luke Rockhold for the middleweight belt.
Weidman needs surgery on his neck, he noted Wednesday in a Facebook post.
Bisping, The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner, has been in the UFC since 2006 without a title shot. He was beaten by Rockhold in a non-title fight in Australia in 2014. Rockhold submitted Bisping with a guillotine choke on Nov. 7, 2014, in Sydney.
Since that defeat, Bisping has won three in a row, including a victory over ex-champion Anderson Silva on Feb. 27 in a Fight of the Night battle in London.
When news of Weidman's injury broke Tuesday, Bisping pleaded for the title shot.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter8 days ago
After knocking out Fabricio Werdum with one punch at UFC 198, newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic put together yet another scintillating knockout performance on Tuesday afternoon. However, instead of an Octagon, Miocic took his talents to the baseball diamond.
Upon returning home to a hero’s welcome from his hometown of Cleveland, which has been starving for over 50 years to see a championship brought home, Miocic was invited to take part in batting practice with the Cleveland Indians. Similar to his walk-off performance on Saturday night in Brazil, Miocic sent a pitch from Indians bench coach Brad Mills soaring over the wall in left field in his final swing.
Yes, another knockout performance.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter11 days ago
Cleveland finally has a world champion once again.
Stipe Miocic knocked Fabricio Werdum cold Saturday in the main event of UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, catching Werdum with a right hand on the chin, finishing him at 2:47 of the first to bring the UFC heavyweight title back to his hometown of Cleveland.
Werdum was moving forward, chasing Miocic, who was back-pedaling in an effort to create distance. Miocic fired a short right at Werdum that landed squarely on the chin. Werdum fell face first and it was quickly over.
Referee Dan Miragliotta jumped in to stop it, handing Miocic, a one-time wrestling and baseball star at Cleveland State, the heavyweight title.
"Fabricio Werdum is tough, [and] he had me guessing," Miocic said. "I trained hard, man. He’s quicker than I thought. He was catching me off guard. It was a good shot."
Miocic, who is one of the finest athletes in the UFC, was relaxed throughout in the biggest fight of his life. Werdum, who has had notable wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, Travis Browne, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Roy Nelson, was moving forward and attacking, but Miocic never got flustered.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter11 days ago
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino for years was the most feared female fighter in the world, but through an odd and often difficult-to-understand set of circumstances, it wasn’t until Saturday that she finally made it to the UFC.
She reminded fans who hadn’t seen here before why her reputation was so out-sized, landing two-thirds of her strikes in a one-sided demolition of Leslie Smith at UFC 198 in her hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.
For years, fans have longed to see Cyborg compete in the UFC. She built an extraordinary record, losing her pro debut in 2005 and then reeling off 15 consecutive victories, most by first-round finish.
When the UFC made the trip to Curitiba, the deal was finally made to bring her in, though she fought at a catch weight of 140 pounds.
Smith never had a chance.
Justino, who sprinted to the cage and seemed to soak in every second of the loud ovation she received from her hometown fans, roared out of her corner and put Smith away quickly.
She landed two rights in the opening 10 seconds of the bout that set the tone for the fight.
She finished it at 1:21, landing a right hand, a kick, a left hook and two more rights.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter11 days ago
Just because Floyd Mayweather is retired doesn’t mean that he won’t take advantage of an opportunity to remain in the limelight when it presents itself.
Mayweather could have squashed recent speculation that the unbeaten boxer would compete in some fashion against UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Instead, Mayweather saw an opening to seize attention even in retirement and he continued to fan the flames in an interview on ShoBox’s Friday night telecast.
“It’s really not a rumor,” Mayweather said when asked about McGregor. ”The fight may happen. We really don’t know as of right now. But do I think the fight will happen? Absolutely.”
The idea of pitting Mayweather against McGregor had the combat sports world buzzing although the logistics of making that fight happen would be a challenge. UFC president Dana White, who happens to be McGregor’s boss, shot down the idea in a recent interview on ESPN’s "Russillo & Kanell" and stated that it would be “impossible.”
But Mayweather isn’t one to take no for an answer.
- Andreas Hale at Cagewriter14 days ago
UFC president Dana White has maintained that he holds no ill will toward Conor McGregor after the UFC featherweight champion was pulled from his UFC 200 fight with Nate Diaz because of his refusal to participate in a pre-fight media conference in Las Vegas.
And if what White’s saying is true, it appears that the two sides will look to mend the fences over dinner next week and figure out when the Irishman will step into the Octagon next.
White revealed on “The Dan Patrick Show” that he has been in touch with McGregor “every day” and that the relationship is “great.” He remained firm that the fighter would not be competing at UFC 200 but it is likely that we’ll see him fighting again sooner rather than later.